ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anne Schoellkopf Coke
Anne Schoellkopf Coke was born in 1933 in Dallas, Texas and has lived there for most of her life. Married to an Epsicopal priest for nearly sixty years, they have four children and ten grandchildren. Anne has painted and drawn all her life, from crayolas to oils, and in her old age has begun to draw and paint with words.
From a letter to my granddaughter, who is a writer
On My "Poetry"
I can't, won't, call it "poetry". What I can call it is "word sketches", but whatever it might be called, doggerel, junk, egoistic drivel, it must out.
How is it that at the end of my life I want to write, to ponder the ordinary, to unburden all heaviness, to tease out perplexity, lay myself out and bare, open to failure?
I cannot presume that putting a capital letter at the beginning of a line makes poetry, or that a run on sentence, enjambment, can be transmogrified into art. With me there is no rhyme, no particular rhythm or meter, no punctuation, or minimal, just strokes, brief sightings, glimpses, deep feelings, swift impressions, trying to make sense.
What I want to do is to write lines, short as brushstrokes, brief, which tell a picture or pull up a memory in sounds and words, a snapshot in sound and word and under the sound and word, the truth as I see it.
In Nicholson Baker's book about a failed poet, "The Anthologist" on page 34, the poet says, "If you feel that you have a use, if you think your writing furthers life or truth in some way, and then you keep writing. But if that feeling stops, you have to find something else to do. Or die, I guess. Or mow the lawn or go somewhere and do something that you think is worth knowing." I like that. It speaks to me. I wrote the following describing my feelings about some current poetry and describing my own "output".